HardenedBSD is a derivative of FreeBSD, officially founded in 2014, that implements exploit mitigations and security hardening technologies. The primary goal of HardenedBSD is to perform a clean-room re-implementation of the grsecurity patchset for Linux to HardenedBSD.

Work on HardenedBSD began in 2013 when Oliver Pinter and Shawn Webb started working on an implementation of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR), based on PaX’s publicly-available documentation, for FreeBSD. At that time, HardenedBSD was meant to be a staging area for experimental development on the ASLR patch. Over time, as the process of upstreaming ASLR to FreeBSD became more difficult, HardenedBSD naturally became a fork.

HardenedBSD completed its ASLR implementation in 2015 with the strongest form of ASLR in any of the BSDs. Since then, HardenedBSD has moved on to implementing other exploit mitigations and hardening technologies. OPNsense, an open source firewall based on FreeBSD, incorporated HardenedBSD’s ASLR implementation in 2016.

HardenedBSD has successfully implemented the following features:

Maintained by Mischa Peters and Roman Zolotarev
Hosted by OpenBSD Amsterdam
Sponsored by netzkommune